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Amazon.com Software Development Engineer II Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 14, 2014
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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in May 2014.

Interview Details – Applied online. Received an online questionnaire with 3 questions. Two questions were code questions and third was on design.
Answered all the questions in around 90 mins but still got called for the onsite interview. There was a telephonic round for behavioral questions prior to onsite interviews.
Company paid for 3 days hotel accommodation and all travel expenses.
There were 4 one to one rounds.
Results were communicated after after 2 days.


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took a day - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – Two phone interviews and onsite interviews. I work at another company for 8+ years.
Be as detail oriented as possible. Positive phone interview and negative onsite interview process, too less of time

Interview Question – 1. Expression evaluation
2. How would you design a system to sync bookmarks across various devices
3. How would you design a telemetry system that alerts if a transaction takes over X seconds, multiple components involved in between
4. Vendor says he has not received payment for the goods sold, what would you do
  Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied through an employee referral and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.

Interview Details – Technical Question: I was asked to write code on collabedit: Program to do a spiral traversal of matrix
I was asked which programming language I would choose between C and C++ and why? This was followed-on by some more questions - when would you not choose C or C++?

I was asked to mention my best project and describe what I liked in this project. I was then asked what was the thing you do not like in the the project you like best?

Interview Question – What was the thing you do not like in the the project you like best?   View Answer


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied online and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2013.

Interview Details – I submitted my resume to several open positions on their website. Within a couple of days I was contacted by a recruiter who wanted to set up a phone screen for a position that I actually had not applied to.

The phone screen problems consisted of a fairly simple array manipulation problem and a word game problem that I solved with a trie-like structure. The interviewer asked for ways my solution to the word game could be optimized and I gave him one which he seemed to like.

I was expecting to have another phone screen, but the next email I got from my recruiter was an invitation to fly to Seattle to interview on site. This email requested a bunch of information for booking the trip as well as what my expected salary and current salary were. I declined to answer the question about my current salary (which didn't seem to be a problem), but for the expected salary, I checked here for what their typical range was for the position I was being considered for and gave them one number that was somewhere in the 85th or 90th percentile of that range.

I signed an NDA for the on site interview stuff, but I will say that the book "Cracking the Coding Interview" by McDowell was EXTREMELY helpful. That book explained their entire interview process and had several examples that were similar to the questions they asked both in the phone screen and the on site interviews. One thing that is peculiar about Amazon's interviews is that they ask some behavioral questions that weigh pretty heavily in the decision-making process. When answering the behavioral questions, give answers that tie back into their core values (they'll send you information about their core values if you are invited on-site). "Cracking the Coding Interview" has some good examples of those behavioral-type questions as well as some good tips on how to prepare for them.

A good portion of the people I interviewed with had pretty thick accents, which made things a little more difficult. They all seemed pretty intelligent and very down-to-earth. Nobody seemed put off that they had to do the interview or anything, and they all claimed to really enjoy working for Amazon.

I was called the day after I interviewed on site and was told that they would be making me an offer. At that point the recruiter (which was a different recruiter than the one that initially contacted me, but was the person that set everything up for the on-site interview) asked me what my current salary was and told me what I could expect in terms of salary and bonuses. They had an official offer finalized within about 3 days.

The total time from submitting my resume online to accepting an offer was only about 5 weeks, so it was pretty quick.

Negotiation Details – The negotiations started with the number I gave as my expected salary before I had the on-site interviews. The recruiter that was putting together the offer (it seemed that she was the one crafting the details and then it was put before a committee or something to be approved) indicated that the number I gave as a base salary was just a bit higher than what I'd probably get. She explained that a large portion of their compensation package was equity. She initially indicated that the base salary they would offer would be about 85-90% of what I had asked for. She also wanted to know what my current salary was. Since I was pretty comfortable with the numbers she was giving, I told her what my current salary was, but indicated that I lived in a much cheaper place to live than Seattle. I told her that my biggest concern would be the raised cost of living compared to where I was living currently.
When she got back to me with the final offer, it ended up being right around 95% of what I had asked for as a base salary. They also included a very large signing bonus and a big chunk of equity that would vest in a couple of years.
The offer also included 2 weeks of vacation that accrue with each pay period, as well as an additional 6 days of leave that are available at the beginning of each year. I asked about getting 3 weeks of vacation, but it was explained that it might not be a good idea to ask for that much for the first year (everyone gets 3 weeks plus the extra 6 days after they've completed a year). I explained that I just wanted to be sure to have enough vacation to take a week at Christmas since I would be starting late in the year. She talked to my future manager and made sure that was alright.
No other negotiations were had as the rest of the offer sounded pretty good and was quite a bit better than what I was currently getting (cost of living considered and all).


Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in April 2014.

Interview Details – Numerous design oriented questions, some brief coding/implementation asked, but mostly high level.

Interview Question – Design the software backend for a system that checks if vehicles are speeding on roads. Constraints: 1 camera per direction of road.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2013.

Interview Details – At first, it's a phone interview. but not got phone call at the appointed time until waiting for another 10 minutes.
The questions in phone interview is for algorithm test, and the first one is to revert a sentense which is a common one. Unfortunately my answer not accepted by interviewer, so did not pass the phone interview.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Amazon.com.

Interview Details – I was approached via my profile on LinkedIn.com by a sourcer at Amazon. I had an informational phone call with the hiring manager, followed by two technical screening phone calls. I was brought in for a full interview loop a couple of weeks later. From start to finish, the process took about a month. Regrettably, getting the results of the interview loop took another month.

Interview Question – I'm going to give you 5 million dollars and I want you to spend it on purchasing keywords on Google, bringing Amazon to one of the favored positions, either at the top or to the right, for those keywords, and returning 50 million in increased revenue.   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in February 2014.

Interview Details – First round was a technical phone interview, interviewer was very late so we went straight to the point. Asked to solve some algorithmic problems using linked list (e.g. reverse a linked-list) and hash table and code them. Problems were relatively easy.

Second round was an full day on-site, with 7 rounds of 45min each, plus 15 minutes of discussions with the possibility to ask questions about the team, work and the company. Each round would consist of 1-2 coding problems as well as some design problem and behavioral questions. All the interviewer and the recruiter were enthusiastic and friendly, making the process very smooth.

Interview Question – Problems solving with coding on a whiteboard, including algorithms (binary search, DFS) and data structure (hash table, binary search tree, graph). Design problems (restaurant reservation system) and distributed system (map-reduce and distributed has table). Some behavioral questions.   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II

Interviewed at Amazon.com

Interview Details – 2 phone screen and 5 interviews onsite interviews. Pretty much tough day.

Interview Question – Difficult   Answer Question


Declined Offer

Negative Experience

Easy Interview

Software Development Engineer II Interview

Software Development Engineer II
Seattle, WA

I applied in-person and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Amazon.com in November 2012.

Interview Details – The process was pretty much easy. Recruiters are like hunters and once they grab you, they won't leave you until you say repeatedly say no. After I was picked up, the process was nothing great and was as usual - one telephonic and 5 onsite

Interview Question – There was nothing difficult question. However, there was an unusual question when a senior engineer asked me to generate a mathematical formula. I didn't expect this in interview for a company like Amazon.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – I had to go to my home country and recruiter was stubborn in the dates. So declined the offer.

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